Never seek fame. With it comes haters. The more people see you, the more they can despise you. Seek art, enjoyment, change in peoples’ lives, any other goal, and the hate won’t bother you so much.
However, if you get any recognition on the internet, vile things will come your way.
Okay, no joke, AS I WROTE THAT LAST LINE, I got a new comment from someone who didn’t think I did something well and told me, “Take your writing more seriously in the future.” Implying, of course, that this thing I’ve been doing for 15 years isn’t something I take seriously.
The sinful side of me wants to **** that guy’s **** so he ******s whenever he ****s. But calling myself a Christian, I have to resist such impulses and take my cues from Jesus.
So as that old adage says, WWJD about bad comments?
Get Your Confidence from God
Jesus couldn’t care less what people thought about him. He knew who he was in God the Father, that being the Savior foretold in scripture, and an integral part of the Trinity. Sticks and stones, yo.
When we let God determine our worth, comment sections don’t wreck us so much. None of us are Jesus and we’ll never get our emotional alignment perfect, but you can take a lot of crap when you know God loves you and will always fight for you no matter what.
This also resolves a major caveat to this post. Jesus was never wrong, when we often are. I had to delete a blog post once because people called out a major mistake I’d made. But when you take your issues to God, he shows you your mistakes without the vitriol of a troll.
So always go to God first.
Laugh at the Posers
Sometimes, we take the meek and mild Jesus archetype too far. We forget he was also a crack shot when aiming at hot air balloons.
When Pilate said, “Don’t you know I can kill you?” Jesus replied, “Only if you say ‘Please.'” (John 19:10-11) He also called Pharisees “Sons of Hell.” (Matthew 23:15) He knew that the powers of the day were all mockeries and constructs, and he didn’t take any of them seriously.
So it is with posers. They want to front? Call them out.
Long ago, someone left a comment on my article about why The Legend of Korra sucks hard, claiming he could easily list all the reasons I was wrong…but he was tired. He wrote this TWICE.
I replied, “Tired enough to leave TWO comments? Good for you.” He didn’t reply.
Hot air balloons need to be popped. Jesus did and so can you.
Stump the Mockers
In Matthew 22:15-22, the religious people tried to trick Jesus by asking if they should pay taxes to Caesar. If Jesus said yes, he’d tick off the Jews. If no, he’d tick off the Romans. Jesus said, “Both,” and they walked away humiliated.
Often, your detractors aren’t pretentious windbags, but actual thinkers. You must be one yourself, lest you be the balloon that needs popping.
Recently, a man argued with me about Christianity, eventually asking whether something was right or wrong. I replied, “Where does morality come from?” It took him a week to reply, and then feebly. He knew things were right or wrong, but not why. By cutting to the heart of the issue, I stumped him.
It takes wisdom and discernment to see through the fluff to the heart of an issue, but thankfully James 1:5 says God is happy to give wisdom if we just ask.
Ignore the Haters
Even though Jesus could call out every poser and stump every mocker, his arguments often ended with him walking away. You can’t always change people’s minds or even get them to admit they’re wrong. Even Jesus’s comment section would be full of trolls.
So in many cases (I’d say most cases), you need to just let it go. When the religious people arrested Jesus, he ignored some questions he could easily answer (Mark 14:61). When they questioned him in Luke 20:1-7, he refused to answer. Sometimes, there’s just no point.
It’s the internet. Hate froths here. If you’re going to exist here in any capacity, you must develop thick skin. In fact…
Be Willing to Die
One major reason Jesus could endure hatred was he was prepared for the consequences. Jesus could have saved himself at any time, but chose to go to the cross instead. He could have brought down thunder and angels, but let himself get tortured.
Can’t we bear a measly comment section?
Jesus was a king. He of all people deserved respect and adoration, but didn’t and still doesn’t get it. Who are we to demand more than the King of Kings received?
I wrote a blog with an example on how a person on Facebook reamed me unfairly, and God told me to apologize. To the hater. And by swallowing my pain, I mended the relationship in a single comment. God knows what’s best.
Christ chose to die rather than make everyone like him. As Christians, we’re called to follow his example. It’s not easy, but isn’t it better to have one less arrogant jerk on the internet?
Love Through the Hate
Despite the vileness of the haters, the posers, and the scoffers, Jesus still died for them. Even on the cross, Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who put him there (Luke 23:34).
It sends a chill down my spine. “Forgive the people who tortured me.” What love! What courage! And what a thing to emulate!
Whatever horrible things someone may say about us (and you’d be surprised how evil people can be), there is no excuse for a Christian to hate. To hurt, yes, to be angry, sure, but never to hate.
Which brings us back to point number one: take everything to God. Take your fury, your sinful responses, every black-hearted thing about you to Christ who died for all those things, and you’ll be left with nothing but the love he instills in you.
Only then can you do any of the things I’ve mentioned. When you love someone, you can respond without malice, ignore what must be ignored, and die for your enemies. Again, it’s not easy, but it’s what Christ did. And if you’re a Christian, then you want to be just like him.
I certainly hope you get nothing but good comments and reviews. But if and when someone hates you for being you, remember these tips and come at your opponent like Jesus would.